Daily Diversion

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

If the Geist House is Refurbished, Could We Finally Find Timothy Demonbreun?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 15, 2014 at 8:00 AM

One of the long-standing mysteries of historical Nashville is just where the heck the final resting place of local fur-trading playboy diplomat Timothy Demonbreun is. There's a marker for him up in a cemetery in Cheatham County, just south of Little Marrowbone Road. But most people assume he ended up in the "old city cemetery." The hiccup to that theory is that the cemetery we now think of as the old city cemetery is not the oldest, old city cemetery. As we talked about when I warned that it was inevitable that there would be things of archaeological significance right where we're putting our new baseball stadium, the first city cemetery was just about where Jefferson and 4th meet, because white settlers put their dead where the people who lived here put their dead. In other words, right where the Geist Blacksmith Shop is.

The complications arise, as so many complications in Demonbreun's life did, because of women. Demonbreun had a church wife, Therese, he married back in Kaskaskia and a frontier wife, Elizabeth, he informally took up with here. He traveled between the two of them until, family lore says, his church-wife insisted on moving to Nashville in the 1790s, thus necessitating the quick legal marriage of Demonbreun's mistress to one of Demonbreun's friends in 1793. The family lore is that Therese died in 1808. I don't think there's any reason to disbelieve this. There's also some lore that her remains were sent back to Kaskaskia or possibly to Quebec. I think we have plenty of reason to discount this. Moving a body through the wilderness in 1808 either one of those distances would have been impossible—the smell alone would have been insurmountable. You were buried where you died. If Therese died here, she is buried here. If she died in 1808, she was in that first city cemetery.

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Spread the Word: Best of Nashville 2014 Voting Begins Today

Posted By on Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 2:00 PM


Seems a shame to waste that nifty "I Voted" sticker you received when you went to the polls this morning. (You have gone to vote, right? You've got until 7 p.m. if not.) As we suggested last week, in one of the worst headline puns ever to soil an alt-weekly, there must be 50 ways to love your lever.

And now there are 51.

The ballot goes live today for readers' choices in the Scene's 2014 Best of Nashville poll, our 25th yearly salute to the people, places, artists, musicians, chefs and businesses that give Music City its character. So you haven't always agreed with the winning entries? There's a way to rectify that — by voting. In many categories, just a handful of votes can decide a first-place finish.

Voting continues through 11:59 p.m. Sept. 5, and the issue comes out Oct. 9. Remember to be as specific as you can when writing in a candidate or a business — spelling will make a difference.

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

'You Are So Nashville If …' You Wait Until the Last Day to Enter

Posted By on Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 5:01 PM

  • Illustration: Brian Taylor
You too could be the next Wando Weaver, Meredith Hunter or Ken Lass. But that means you'll have to act before 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night — Friday, June 27 — to ensure your shot at immortality in the Scene's "You Are So Nashville If ..." contest.

Even so, you're going to have stiff competition as the YASNI contest enters its 25th year. You've got less than 36 hours to submit the magic entry that slays your neighbors, tickles our readers and leaves your competitors shaking their fists. All you have to do is complete the phrase, "You are so Nashville if ..."

What've we got to talk about this year? Let's see … The Amp, charter schools, craft brews, Vanderbilt baseball, the World Cup, the drained lake at Centennial Park, the Green Hills skyscraper, the Sylvan Park roundabout, the Melrose marquee, the Ryman facelift, RCA Studio A, the First Saturday Art Crawl, wine in grocery stores, Will Pinkston, Record Store Day, Pilot Flying J, Two Ten Jack, James Franklin leaving, OZ Nashville, Al-Jazeera Nashville, Private Lives of Nashville Wives, Stacey Campfield, barbecue on Belmont, Scarlett on drugs, Policymic on East Nashville, competing farmers markets, Diarrhea Planet, Crazy Hearts, drones, Third Man Records, Barista, Thicker Than Water, Two Old Hippies, decriminalizing marijuana, The Contributor, that other street paper that's not The Contributor. Oh, and having improper relations with an ATM and a picnic table.

Do not post your entries below in the comments box. We will route them straight to YASNI Siberia, the special purgatory reserved for entries about the intricacies of Old Hickory Boulevard or pronouncing "Demonbreun." Instead, fill out the online form — again, by the end of tomorrow night — and start rehearsing an acceptance speech for the July 17 issue that sounds humble. May the best YASNI win!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Garden and Gun Southern Towns Bracket Turns Brother Against Brother

Posted By on Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 7:00 AM

We're on the verge of March Madness, which means that any and all categories of things are being divided up and formatted in the image of the NCAA College Basketball tournament bracket.

SB Nation has a GIF tournament. Over at The Wire — not to be confused with the HBO program of the same name, for which Grantland made a bracket two years ago — there's a new bracket every day: Best Drink (ongoing), Best Temperature (73 degrees), Best Fictional President (Jed Bartlet, duh). Last year, Buzzfeed made a list of 20 March Madness Brackets With A Pop Culture Twist, because of course they did.

So, sure Garden and Gun, get your southern Madness on.

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wikid Awesome: WikiLeaks Anonomobile Spotted in Nashville

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2014 at 3:00 PM


So I'm driving down Gallatin Road yesterday (most of my best stories begin with those seven words, by the way), and I spotted the curious vehicle shown above. Naturally, being the inquisitive type, I followed it for a few blocks, until it turned in to the Turnip Truck parking lot.

Call it intuition, but something deep inside me was telling me that the driver of this vehicle would welcome some attention, particularly from the press. I knocked on the driver's door. A very polite woman let me in to the vehicle, and introduced herself as Christine Ann Sands. (She pointed out that just because you consider yourself part of Anonymous, you don't have to remain anonymous. Her companion in the vehicle, a 20-something man with a guitar, chose to remain anonymous.)

Anyway, Sands is the woman behind the Anonomobile. And greatamericanrevolt.org. And she's a poet. Oh, and finally, she also happens to be the (barely safe for work) WikiChick. Whatever it takes to get your message across, I suppose.

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Friday, August 30, 2013

Five Reasons You Should Vote Right Now in The Scene's Best of Nashville

Posted By on Fri, Aug 30, 2013 at 3:00 PM

1. You have a say in what's best about Nashville. Feel like caulking your ears now whenever you hear the phrase "It City"? Vote for your favorites and tell people where they really should be looking. Nashville isn't just about country music these days, or so we hear.

2. Your vote counts. In years past, winners in some categories have been decided by single digits. The store you frequent, the mechanic you trust, the doctor you love, the coffee you can't wake up without — your vote could determine the outcome in too many categories to list.

3. You might produce an upset. Feel like the selections could use some new blood? Start it pumping by voting. And by the same token ...

4. You can't complain if you don't vote. Hear us and tremble, O ye who griped all those years when Best Breakfast used to go to Shoney's. If you don't vote for what you think should win — be it a restaurant, a band, a gallery, or a local politician — we can all but guarantee you it will lose. And finally ...

5. You wouldn't want to disappoint this dog dressed as Yoda, would you?

Didn't think so. Vote here.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Spontaneous Combustion or Evidence of Ghosts?

Posted By on Thu, Aug 8, 2013 at 4:28 AM

From Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Parks Facebook page
  • From Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park's Facebook page

Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park has a picture up on Facebook of a burning hay bale discovered at the park. They say, "This past Saturday, one of the interns and rangers came across an unexpected: a rolled hay bale that had spontaneously combusted."

Oh, sure. "Spontaneously combusted." Like we're supposed to believe that hay bales just catch fire on their own, without the influence of angry ghosts, still fighting a battle that was 150 years ago? Let's be real. Obviously, it's ghosts.

Though, it turns out that hay bales can spontaneously combust.

The process of spontaneous combustion involves both microbial growth and chemical changes and may be slow to develop. The wet hay will first stimulate microbial growth and as these organisms grow they produce heat while drying out the surrounding surfaces of the hay for energy. More drying surfaces produces more microbial growth and different types of microbes live and die as the internal bale temperature climbs.

OK, fine. Ghosts didn't set the hay bale on fire. But who put the hay bale in the middle of the battlefield? That was ghosts, for sure.

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hendersonville Couple Is Having All the Weddings

Posted By on Thu, Jul 18, 2013 at 5:15 AM

The New York Daily News has the strange story of David and Lauren Blair, who have been married 106 times — to each other.

They first wed in 1984 and have since renewed their vows on days such as Valentine's Day, a minute either side of New Year, Christmas Day, February 29 and count every day of the month their anniversary.

They broke the world record for the 'most married couple' at Serendipity 3 Restaurant in New York City on Valentine's Day 2001 but haven't slowed down since scooping the romantic crown.

Their latest ceremony is scheduled for August 4 2013 and the happy couple, from Hendersonville in Tennessee, USA, can't wait to say their 'I dos' again as they celebrate their 30th year of married life.

I find this both incredibly sweet and a little creepy. I mean, blergh, having to go to multiple Hard Rock Cafes in order to get married in them? That sounds more like a punishment for some obscure statute violation than a romantic get-away. But good for them for finding a way to keep their marriage delightful for both of them.

And, shoot, I guess we can go ahead and wish them a happy anniversary, because it seems likely today is one.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Here's The Daily Show Making Fun of Tennessee's Health Care Lottery

Posted By on Thu, Jun 6, 2013 at 12:10 PM

This one is so tragicomic it hurts.

HT: Was Tennessee on the Daily Show dot com.

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Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's On! You Are So Nashville If ... Contest Page Is Live

Posted By on Thu, May 30, 2013 at 3:59 PM

You are so Nashville if ... you can't believe it's already time again for the Nashville Scene's You Are So Nashville If ... contest.

Now, don't you steal that entry. For one thing, I just wrote it. For another, it's not even funny. Surely you can do much better, right?

Last year, Holly Matthews took home top honors with "You are so Nashville if ... you think Bart Durham should direct The Real Housewives of Nashville."

An impressive entry, for sure. Think you got game? Think you can bring that kind of heat?

As usual, there's no shortage of hot topics ripe for lampooning. Here are a few off the top of my head just to help you get the wheels turning:

The state legislature
Nashville cast member sightings
Charter schools
Nashville as the "It" City
Blake Shelton dissing old-school country
Hip Donelson
The Music City Center
Ken Jakes, government watchdog

Now get busy! Deadline is June 28! Winners will be announced in the July 18 issue.

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